Office Buildings And Backup Power Generators

You won’t hear them kick in if they’ve been installed properly, but generators can be found in many office buildings across South Africa. Some offices simply cannot afford to have the power go down at all, while others choose to have backup power for their occupants’ convenience. Either way, with Eskom yet to announce a much-anticipated finishing-off of load shedding, every office building could do with backup power generators in place.

READ: Choosing the right generator for your building

Why backup power for the office?

Ensuring an office building remains connected to electricity means it can remain connected to everything else it needs to operate. With backup power, an office can remain open to the public, keep the lights, power network infrastructure, power computers and other devices, and – most importantly – ensuring the kettle can boil water for coffee! Seriously though, so many issues arise in offices when the power goes out, so an office setting is definitely one of the most important places to have a backup generator.

Questions to ask about office generators

Before setting your mind on the brand, type, or capacity of generator you’d prefer, here are a few questions to ask about your office space:

  1. Will the generator remain stationary or need to be portable?
  2. How many appliances, devices and lights need to be run?
  3. What available space is there to install the generator?
  4. Which type of fuel should the generator consume? (diesel, gas, petrol)

READ: 7 factors that influence a generator’s price

3 types of generators for offices

Commercial generators are predominantly used as standby, nice-to-haves in office settings. Some industries, however, are required by law to have backup power generation on call at all times.

  1. Emergency Standby Generators

Emergency standby generator systems automatically kick in when the office experiences power loss due to a power outage. These office generators are required by NFPA code and must provide power to all the building’s safety systems within 10 seconds. These include exit lighting, smoke alarms, fire alarm systems, escalators, elevators, and anything that is absolutely necessary for people inside the building to remain safe or get to safety during life-threatening scenarios. Emergency standby generators must be completely separate and have their own electrical panels, switches, and conduits.

  1. Legally-Required Generators

These backup generator systems are similar to emergency generator systems, except that they have up to 60 seconds to automatically provide power. Legally-required generators are installed in spaces where backup power is required by law. However, they don’t need to be completely separate systems (like emergency generators). The difference with these systems is that they are not critically needed for office building occupant safety.

  1. Additional Standby Generators

This is any additional standby generator added to an office building is not required by code. These standby generators can be used to provide power to key equipment and systems that the business may find necessary to continue regular operations when the power cuts. Essentially, these generators can help mitigate profit losses and losses due to downtime. These generators can also help keep air conditioning systems running to provide continued comfort.

Installing & maintaining office generators

Get efficient office generator installations, generator maintenance, and repairs to office generators from S&A Generators. Based in Durban, we can travel anywhere in South Africa to assist our clients with their backup power challenges. Contact us to start a discussion about a backup generator for your office building – we look forward to being your light in the dark